Shaving, plucking, and tweezing are standard methods of hair removal for women, but is the result worth the effort? The average woman shaves every three days to control excessive growth on the face and body. That’s four months out of a year spent on keeping the legs, underarms, arms, or bikini area hair-free. The same time-consuming inconvenience can be expected of waxing and plucking. Plus there’s the risk of razor burns, waxing pain, or ingrown hair.
Nowadays, handheld hair-removal devices are widely available, but how effective are they compared to the medical-grade lasers used by dermatologists? Most home-use units are IPL types while hair removal procedures in Singapore utilise dual-platform lasers. What’s the difference? Read on and find out!
Today the two most popular methods for getting rid of unwanted facial and body hair are (1) Laser Hair Removal (LHR) and (2) Intense Pulsed Light (IPL). Both are regarded as longer-term and alternatives to DIY-ing the hair removal, but the difference is in the technology and results.
IPL or Intense Pulsed Light produces light energy to disrupt the growth of hair for a considerable amount of time. The light is absorbed by the melanin in black, brown or dark hair, which eventually destroys the hair.
Handheld IPLs produce a broad spectrum of wavelengths as opposed to the concentrated beams used in dual-platform laser procedures. The IPL’s varying wavelengths disperse at different depths, which means repetitive treatments are needed for it to be effective in getting rid of unwanted hair.
However, home-use handsets are considerably cheaper than laser hair removal procedures. IPL units are generally safe for the face, but shouldn’t be used on the scalp or eyebrows–that’s anything below the cheeks, including the upper lip or chin.
What some online sellers may not be telling you is that they shouldn’t be used anywhere near the eyes as the glare may damage your sight. If the handheld IPL doesn’t come with protective eye shields, then you’d need to buy one for your own safety.
Professional Laser Hair Removal Procedure
Medical-grade hair removal lasers emit a single wavelength of light, zooming in on the pigment without harming the hair follicle. An average laser hair removal treatment requires 6 sessions with 4-6 weeks healing period between sessions to prevent stressing or irritating the skin.
Research shows that proper techniques performed by a certified and experienced technician render safe and effective results (Lim and Lanigan, 2006). There are risks associated with medical-grade lasers, but these are minimal. A thorough assessment is required to avert potential complications.
The procedure is administered by professionals trained to customise the device settings to your skin/hair and preferred results. Compared with handheld IPLs, dual-platform lasers deliver more rapid and focused light deep into the pores while distinguishing subtleties in pigmentation.
Medical grade lasers work by emitting a single wavelength of light that is specifically focused on the targeted area, resulting in optimum penetration. The light emitted is absorbed by the pigment in the hair, zooming in on the hair shaft and preventing contact with the surrounding skin.
The primary laser technologies used by dermatologists today are:
- Alexandrite Laser (755nm) – for fair to mid-toned skin with medium-dark to dark, coarse hair
- ND: YAG Laser (1064 nm) – for darker skin types with coarse hair
- Diode Laser (800-810 nm) – for light- to mid-toned skin with dark, fine hair
The top brands for laser devices such as these are Alma, Candela, and Lumenis—all of which are used at The Aesthetics Centre for various laser procedures. The type of laser used on patients is determined by the doctor based skin type and hair texture, and other factors best discussed during a consultation.
Hair Removal: Choose the Method that Works for You!
At The Aesthetics Centre, we give each client a personalised consultation to determine the treatment that suits you best. The number of sessions depends on your skin tone and hair colour. Gray and blonde hair don’t respond well to the procedure as they have no pigment to target.
Since each client’s hair removal expectation is unique, some may already be happy with 50% to 60% hair reduction. Others prefer a maximum of 80% to 95%. You might be able to get hair removal results with an IPL handset, but significantly more treatments are needed.
With a professional laser hair removal procedure at The Aesthetics Centre in Singapore, you’ll also get a specific price quotation during your consultation with Dr Anita. The fees depend on the size of the targeted area, how much hair you want to get rid of, and how permanent are the results you want.
Do note that whether it’s a home-use IPL or a dual-platform laser, there’s a risk of some skin irritation, redness, swelling, or itchiness. However, this should not last more than a day. The advantage of a hair removal procedure is that there’s a medical professional on hand to keep you safe and informed.
Why The Aesthetics Centre in Singapore?
Your choice of hair removal method should ultimately come down to what works for your schedule, budget, and expectations. DIY solutions may seem appealing, but the results could be temporary. They may also pose health risks, unlike professional permanent laser hair removal solutions.
At The Aesthetics Centre, we use the GentleMax Pro™ by Candela™, which has been widely used in the industry for 20 years now. This dual-platform laser delivers a 755nm Alexandrite laser and a 1064nm Nd:YAG laser for different treatment options. It works on most types of Asian hair, too!
The equipment used at The Aesthetics Centre can be set to wavelengths required by specific skin and hair types. They have built-in cooling systems that can be configured to the patient’s level of comfort. If there’s anything at all you need, our staff are on hand to answer all your questions.